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Mid term analysis of safety and quality of life after the laparoscopic repair of paraesophageal hiatal hernia

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Initial experience with the laparoscopic repair of paraesophageal and type III mixed hiatal hernias showed that it is safe and feasible, with excellent immediate and short-term results. However, after a longer follow-up, a recurrence rate of ≤40% has been demonstrated. Data related to the outcome of paraesophageal hernia repair and the recurrence rate are still lacking. Quality-of-life scores may offer a better means of assessing the impact of surgical treatment on the overall health status of patients. Therefore, we performed prospective evaluation of anatomic and/or symptomatic recurrences after paraesophageal or large hiatal hernia repair. In addition, we investigated the correlation between recurrence and the patient’s quality of life.


All patients after who had undergone repair of paraesophageal of mixed hiatal hernia were identified prospectively from a database consisting of all patients who had had laparoscopic operations for gastroesophageal pathology at our hospital between February 1998 and December 2002. The preoperative symptoms were taken from patients’ clinical files. In March 2003, all patients with ≥6 months of follow-up had a barium swallow and were examined for radiological and clinical signs of recurrence. Thereafter, the patients’ quality of life after surgery was evaluated using three standard questionnaires (Short Form 36 [SF-36], Glasgow Dyspepsia Severity Score [GDSS], and Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index [GIQLI].


During the study period, 46 patients had been operated on. The mean age was 63 years (range, 28–93). Thirty seven of them had a follow-up of ≥6 months. Eight patients (21%) had postoperative gastrointestinal symptoms. Barium swallow was performed in 30 patients (81%) and showed a recurrence in six of them (20%). According to SF-36 and GDSS, the patients’ postoperative quality of life reached normal values and did not differ significantly from the standard values for the Spanish population of similar age and with similar comorbidities. Successfully operated patients reached a GIQLI value comparable to the standard population. However, symptomatic patients had significantly lower GIQLI scores than the asymptomatic or the Rx-recurrent group.


The laparoscopic treatment of large paraesophageal and mixed hiatal hernias is not only feasible and safe but also offers a good quality of life on a midterm basis. However, the anatomic and functional recurrence rate is high. The next step is to identify the subset of patients who are at risk of failure and to establish technical alternatives that would ensure the durability of the repair.

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Correspondence to E. M. Targarona.

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Targarona, E.M., Novell, J., Vela, S. et al. Mid term analysis of safety and quality of life after the laparoscopic repair of paraesophageal hiatal hernia. Surg Endosc 18, 1045–1050 (2004).

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  • Paraesophageal hiatal hernia
  • Quality of life
  • Laparoscopic hernia repair
  • Recurrence